SPIRIT Online is the only religion program for teens that links the Sunday Gospels to their lives. And it is all online—ready for teens on their phones and tablets. Ready for you to forward to parents and Confirmation sponsors. SPIRIT begins on October 6th this year. The autumn issues feature a series on prayer. Advent brings the prophecies of Isaiah for a peaceful world. The Sundays after Christmas explore Jesus as he teaches and heals in Galilee. The Lent and Easter issues ask teens what kind of Christians they want to be.
Any Sunday Gospel or SPIRIT issue can lead to conversion. When we let the Holy Spirit in, something good takes root. We are happy that SPIRIT is a part of that for the teens in your care. Please call Lacy at 800-232-5533 to set up your subscription for 2019-2020. Or go to goodgroundpress.com to place your order. May the blessings of summer be yours in abundance.
Currently, immigration dominates our news headlines and politics. Poverty, violence, war, displacement, no work—all can force people to move. These conditions separate many refugees and immigrants from families and friends for long periods of time. They have to navigate cultures, laws, and languages that they don’t know. They start anew in the hope of achieving a better future for themselves and their families. The song “You Belong” reminds us that everyone belongs and deserves the chance to thrive.
Key Lyrics:You belong / The whole world is waiting / No one else can sing your song / You belong / The lie that’s been chasing you / Love’s gonna prove it wrong / Open your eyes / Breathe in the light / You don’t have to hide / You belong
Questions: Visit un.org to learn more about why people may be forced to immigrate. How can you reach out to new students or neighbors different from you? Whose voices in your school or community are others not hearing? When do you listen to the voices of people who appear different from you?
The last Sunday of the liturgical year celebrates Jesus as Christ the King, who promises to judge us on whether we do the works of mercy. Catholic social teaching challenges us to these same actions. We can all take part in helping those who need food, clothing, water, shelter whether it’s donating resources or helping out at a shelter or food kitchen. When Imaginary Future sings out that “we are the love we give,” they are calling to us to look beyond ourselves and at our neighbors who may need greater support.
Key lines:This is not some one-way mirror / Looking out at the world we’re in / We are the love, we are the love we give / I’m starting to see it clearer / We belong to those who live / We are the love, we are the love we give / We are the love, we are the love we give
Questions: What economic and social issues do you recognize in your community and school? How can you help to raise awareness of these issues? When have
you needed a helping hand?
Not all the people in our communities and nation have the same access to education, healthcare, and justice. This week’s SPIRIT spotlights Appalachia and the effects of mountaintop mining. The song “Sea Change” asks us why are we closing our eyes to the plight of people in our midst who are poor when we are all in this world together.
Key lines:So where will we go when the waters threaten to wash us away? / And all of our sons and our daughters wilt in the heat of the day? / I feel the sun draw nearer, I feel the sea start to rise / Who’s looking back in the mirror? Why are they closing —Why are they closing their eyes? / …Why are we closing our eyes?
Questions: When have you closed your eyes to a problem in your community or school? When have you opened your eyes to a problem? What did you learn or do about it? What duties does government have for the people it serves? How do you balance serving God and following the laws of our country? What issues make you struggle to answer?
“Eucharist is the central action of the Christian community…It’s where we find the future we want to commit ourselves to build.” Spirit explores how every Eucharist calls us to put our faith into action and to love with our lives as Jesus did, reaching out to all, familiar friends and new and different people. Hollyn’s song “Love With Your Life” boldly challenges us to live life fully and become symbols of hope and change, whether by helping someone obtain a simple meal, learning about a social issue, or taking an active role in social justice issues.
Key Lines:You gotta love with your life / Like a fire burning strong / Til’ the night has come and gone / There’s a hope that lives in you / You gotta love with your life / Like a warrior / Fight, lay it on the line / If you wanna see a change / You gotta love with your life
Questions: When have you been unable to ignore the plight of someone in your school or community? What did you do to help in that moment? What situations or people do you feel your community ignores? How can you make people more aware of this issue? What does Eucharist teach you about loving with your life?
“Without roots in the people, no government can avail, much less when it wants to impose its program through bloodshed and sorrow.” In 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated not long after he spoke these words. Romero challenged his government to end the violence that was sweeping through his country and killing his people. He refused to be silent about the injustice that was affecting the poorer classes of El Salvador. The song “Believer” is about recognizing the pain that injustice causes and using it as a force to bring about personal and social change.
Key Lines:First things first / I’ma say all the words inside my head / I’m fired up and tired of the way that things have been, oh-ooh / The way that things have been, oh-ooh / …Singing from heartache from the pain / Take up my message from the veins / Speaking my lesson from the brain / Seeing the beauty through the… / Pain!
Questions: Who do you see standing up injustice to people who are poor? What examples of injustice do you see in our society? How can you take a stand against them?
This week’s Spirit focuses on Jesus’ message that we are all sacred no matter who we are or what our circumstances may be. Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes we make decisions that don’t work out. It’s important to remember that people who suffer from natural disasters, poverty, or lack of education are no less sacred than someone who lives in a fancy house, has a good job, or great education. Catholic social teaching stresses that we are ALL important in the eyes of God and it is our duty to remedy the injustices others may be going through.
Key Lyrics:So wait for me, I swear I’ll find you / Climbing every wall that hides you / I know we were meant for something better / So wait for me, the world is changing / Underneath the ground is shaking / You and I were meant for something better
Questions: Catholic Relief Services is a great example of putting the principles of Catholic social teaching into action. What other groups follow these teachings? Who do you know in your own life that embodies these teachings? What does the idea of putting your faith in action mean to you?